Project Details

Developing custom tools to interpret model results for watershed management.

Client: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Time Span: 2014 - Present
Location: Minnesota


Watershed managers are faced with the difficult challenge of protecting and restoring surface-water quality with shrinking financial resources, so they need to invest their financial resources where they will get the greatest return on their investment. RESPEC developed the Scenario Application Manager (SAM) to address this need. SAM is a decision-support tool (DST) that combines engineering, programming, and visualization techniques into a custom product that puts the power of HSPF model applications in the hands of decision makers without requiring modeling expertise.

SAM provides decision makers with a user-friendly approach to explore hypothetical scenarios that evaluate water quality changes under various conservation practices as well as the associated costs and benefits. The tool's framework consists of a GIS or best management practice (BMP) site selection, a BMP database with pollutant removal efficiencies and associated costs, and the HSPF watershed model to simulate changes in water quality that result from applying user-specified BMPs. With this tool, watershed managers can use their knowledge and expertise of conservation practices to simulate alternative management scenarios by using the HSPF model without needing HSPF extensive knowledge.